HARLINGEN — The federal government shutdown doesn’t mean all agencies are closed, and while not all amenities will be available at national wildlife refuges or national parks, most remain open to visitors.

The U.S. Social Security Administration office in Harlingen on West Jefferson is open. The nearby Harlingen Immigration Court and the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review also are open.

The U.S. Border Patrol also continues to operate, a staff member at the Harlingen Station said yesterday.

At Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, the visitor center and restrooms at that site are shut down, and no staffers will be present at the refuge.

“Effective Jan. 20, if there is a government shutdown, our visitor center, restrooms and hunter check station will be closed,” said head ranger Marion Mason in a phone message. “No staff and services will be on-site.

“However, the lands are still open for the public to come and visit,” she added. “There is a self check-in station outside our visitor center doors. The entrance fee is $3 per vehicle, please bring exact change.”

Mason said the only restrooms available will be Porta-Johns on the refuge grounds.

The Lower Rio Grande Valley and Santa Ana wildlife refuges also will be open to visitors but no staff or services will be available.

At Padre Island National Seashore near Corpus Christi, a Facebook message noted the park will not be fully staffed during the shutdown but the seashore would be open to visitors.

“Park visitors are advised to use extreme caution if choosing to enter NPS property, as NPS personnel will not be available to provide guidance, assistance, maintenance or emergency response,” the message read. “Any entry onto NPS property during this period of federal government shutdown is at the visitor’s sole risk.”

The seashore will be available to campers but no maintenance or cleaning will be performed in restrooms and shower.

“Visitors in campgrounds will not be asked to leave, but no services will be available,” the message said.

At Palo Alto National Battlefield near Brownsville, the status of the federal facility’s availability to visitors was unknown.

_____

10:13 a.m.

HARLINGEN — The federal government shutdown means not all amenities will be available at national wildlife refuges or national parks, but most will remain open to visitors.

At Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, the visitor center and restrooms at that site are shut down, and no staffers will be present at the refuge.

“Effective Jan. 20, if there is a government shutdown, our visitor center, restrooms and hunter check station will be closed,” said head ranger Marion Mason in a phone message. “No staff and services will be on-site.

“However, the lands are still open for the public to come and visit,” she added. “There is a self check-in station outside our visitor center doors. The entrance fee is $3 per vehicle, please bring exact change.”

Mason said the only restrooms available will be Porta-Johns on the refuge grounds.

The Lower Rio Grande Valley and Santa Ana wildlife refuges also will be open to visitors but no staff or services will be available.

At Padre Island National Seashore near Corpus Christi, a Facebook message noted the park will not be fully staffed during the shutdown but the seashore would be open to visitors.

“Park visitors are advised to use extreme caution if choosing to enter NPS property, as NPS personnel will not be available to provide guidance, assistance, maintenance or emergency response,” the message read. “Any entry onto NPS property during this period of federal government shutdown is at the visitor’s sole risk.”

The seashore will be available to campers but no maintenance or cleaning will be performed in restrooms and shower.

“Visitors in campgrounds will not be asked to leave, but no services will be available,” the message said.

At Palo Alto National Battlefield near Brownsville, the status of the federal facility’s availability to visitors was unknown.

Federal refuges, parks open

Laguna Atascosa NWR — Open with no amenities

Santa Ana NWR — Open with no amenities

Lower Rio Grande Valley NWR — Open with no amenities

Padre Island National Seashore — Open, camping allowed, no staffing

Palo Alto National Battlefield — Status unknown